View Full Version : A Page from the Petersen's Playbook?

Dean Speir
February 9, 2002, 12:57 PM
Hi, Denny…

Nice to catch up with you at SHOT, and get a couple of comp'd issues of SWAT.

I very much enjoyed them, especially Harry Humphries piece on Hollywood tech advisors (see, there is someone other than Dale Dye!) and Patty Rogers' primer on how to approach a gunfighting school.

I must say, however, that I had a certain sense of dread when I saw that one blurb on the March cover:

Ruger Mini-14 Vs. AR-15:
And The Winner Is...

And sadly, my worst fears were confirmed when I read the article and got to the concluding paragraph, which could just as well have been lifted from one of Jan Libourel's old "Big Shoot-out… (9mm v. .45/DA v. SA/Revolver v. Semi-auto/or fill in the blank)! Which is best for you?" articles upon which the editorial content of Petersen's Handguns and G&A has been predicated for several decades.

Please tell me that this was an article that you had "in inventory" from the previous regime. This type of "kissing your sister" content, would, I hope, be beneath the dignity of what SWAT is presently striving for.

Denny Hansen
February 9, 2002, 01:18 PM
It was a pleasure to see you again. It had been a long time.

To answer your question, no this was not an older inventory article. As a matter of fact it came directly from a reader's request--from this Forum no less!

While writing the article, I attempted to point out differences between the two rifles in regard to cost, ergonomics etc. Overall, the article has had a very favorable response. I did state that my personal preference was for the AR, while an instructor who is known nationally prefers the Mini (yes, you know him). After all is said and done it still comes down to what different people like--and that's why both Ford and Chevrolet continue to make cars:)

Pat Rogers
February 9, 2002, 02:26 PM
Denny, Dean,

Just got to see the March issue via the B&N (BTW Dean, there are two (2) articles by yours truly in there- didn't you like the Strider article??).

The Mini is an interesting gun. Having carried one for a while as a cop, i was never crazy about it. I disliked the original sights (why a target type disc on a gun like that?) though as Dean has proven, the AO sight solves that deficiency neatly. The mechanical safety is 1930's stuff, and while that may have been high end then, the non ergonomic placement is inconvenient at best, and flat out dangerous at worst.
While the Gunsite doctrine quotes Rule #4 as- "Keep your finger off of the trigger until your sights are on the target", the Marine Corps states "...finger straight and out of the trigger guard...."

I have seen ND's occur because the shooter had his finger in the trigger guard, manipulating the mecahanical safety improperly no doubt, but the fact that the mechanical safety is inside the trigger guard is, along with the target disc type sight, and indicator that many who build guns don't have a clue on what proper use is.

Another dislike is as Denny pointed out, the magazines. While they are a problem with the AR series as well, there are several million around for that system. And, the Mini is the only rifle i have seen where you can actually jam the magazine in the well while attempting to remove it.

Denny, i understand what you said about the difference in LOS/LOB (we teach that as offset), but that is a training issue, no more nor less (you should take a gander at our standards for time and accuracy- oops, you will, as soon as i finish the SOTG article!-i'll also show you the Chambered Round Verification for the AR).

The big issue is that to the best of my knowledge, we have never had a Mini finish a 5 day course at Gunsite. Most of that may be that we just don't get many out there. Another is the ergonomics don't allow for an average shooter to keep up with the class (average being the operative word here). The last is reliability.
Last year we had a crew doing a series on the Outdoor Channel. The female part of the crew was given a Mini by a sponser for use during the class.
We suggested she bring two. Both were Tango Uniform by Thursday noon, and she finished it up with my M4.

Now, i have a Mini (don't faint here Dean), simply because i got it used (very used) and therefore did not have to expend any major currency for it (nor did i help fill rugers coffers). Knocking the bbl back increased accuracy slightly (it is now almost as tight as your mini Dean!), and replaced the ludicrous disc with an AO.
I have some ruger mags, and it works well for what i need it for (which is demonstrating techniques to those who show up with one.

I woudn't feel underamed with a mini as a cops patrol carbine, any more than i would feel underamed with a M10 .38 Special.

But i would feel very mis armed in the military or CQB mission with one.

I'll stick to my M4A1, or one of the clones for serious stuff.

Now Dean, go back and re- read the magazine...let me know how you like the Strider article.

February 20, 2002, 08:17 AM
Now Dean, go back and re- read the magazine...let me know how you like the Strider article.

Unlike what he expects of others, he has a problem with his critical reading skills.
After all is said and done it still comes down to what different people like...

That is too rational an argument for him to accept.

Rich Lucibella
February 20, 2002, 08:43 AM
You have mail.

February 21, 2002, 10:07 AM
Although my stainless Mini-14 Ranch does not have thousands of rounds thru it (yet), it has proven utterly reliable with the factory 5-round mag and the ten PMI 30-rounders (both blue & stainless) I use. I qualify with the rifle twice per year at distances of up to 100 yards (open sight) and plink with it occasionally. Yes, I wish I had a pre-ban AR15 w/bayo lug, flash hider, collapsable stock, etc.--but I don't. Maybe I obtain one when some widow calls me to come appraise & bid on her recently-departed husband's firearms collection.

February 21, 2002, 10:33 AM
Dean, relax. Yeah, O.K., the Mini vs. AR article was silly, however the purpose of a magazine is to make money (most of the gun industry does not know this). Thus you "have" to have articles like this because that is what readers expect at least to build a base.

Further, this article as I understand it came from a reader's suggestion. What a great way to connect with the reader. Word of mouth is still the best promotion, ErrorNet be darned.

I did not read THE Pat Rogers article on the knife. I saw the squiddy doc with the knife and flipped on by. Not my cup of tea, but lots of people who like guns also like knives. You have to attract a broad base. Within that range some things will be silly to you, but not to others. That's O.K., it's the market (and editors) at work.